Fourth Lexicon of Commodity Frontiers "Commons”

12 October 2022 - 16:00 — 12 October 2022 - 18:00

The fourth Lexicon of Commodity Frontiers keyword conversation about “commons” will take place on 12th of October 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. (CEST). (Zoom, hosted by IISH, Amsterdam)
Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar will present an overture from her work on the concept of commons/lo(s) común(es), followed by commentary offered by Manuela Zechner, José Luis Vivero Pol, and Deborah Delgado Pugley. We then open the floor to a discussion with the audience.

To attend, please register by emailing: before Friday 7 October

The Lexicon of Commodity Frontiers proposes and explores some of the crucial concepts at the core of research in the Commodity Frontiers Initiative. The lexicon aims to be a logbook for tracking efforts to translate our world into comprehensible processes and concepts for further investigation; it brings together concepts and terms with a long trajectory within and outside academia and newly emerging words, often originating in the work and practice of social movements. It offers insights into dynamic problems that should be (re)considered, (re)conceptualised, and discussed through key concepts that can serve as compasses while navigating the global history and present of commodity frontiers. The lexicon is a space of conversation and confrontation to explore existing ideas and forge new critical ones.

In a time of multiple planetary crises, the “commons” - the communitarian, the communal – offer a concrete source of theories and practices of cooperation that resist common nostalgic tropes and essentialist framings. From social movements and childcare to the Amazon forest and the global food system, we discuss the “commons” as a strategy and framework for (re)producing social relations beyond–and in tension with–advancing commodity frontiers.
*Image source: Coastal Elite, Montreal, 5 June 2017 - Wikimedia commons.


  • Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar – Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico  

Panel of commentators:

  • Manuela Zechner - University of Jena, Germany
  • José Luis Vivero Pol - World Food Programme, Cameroon
  • Deborah Delgado Pugley – Catholic University of Peru, Peru

Followed by Q&A with the public

Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar is a Mexican mathematician, philosopher and sociologist who has spent most of her life between Bolivia and Mexico, involving herself in various community, indigenous, popular and feminist struggles in different countries of the continent. She currently lives on her salary as a professor-researcher at the Autonomous University of Puebla, where she is part of the Research Program "Community frameworks and political forms." She is very proud of the colleagues whom she accompanies in their research and in their development paths.

Manuela Zechner is a researcher, facilitator, and artist. She currently works at the intersections of feminism, ecology, and commons - having recently co-founded the Common Ecologies School, co-producing the Earthcare Fieldcast, and having recently published "Commoning Care & Collective Power: Childcare Commons and the Micropolitics of Municipalism" (Transversal Texts). Manu loves facilitating collective processes across grassroots movements, community, culture, and educational contexts. She runs the Future Archive since 2005.

José Luis Vivero Pol is an anti-hunger activist, agricultural engineer, PhD Research Fellow at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and currently programme leader of the World Food Programme in Cameroon. Through his research and policy work in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Caucasus, he advocates for treating food as commons. He is co-author of the Routledge Handbook of Food as a Commons. You can hear more about his work on food commoning on this podcast with David Bollier.

Deborah Delgado is a Sociologist who specializes in environmental and climate policies and socio-ecological analysis. She has extensive experience with policies and programs for the Amazon Basin, linked to the forestry sector, sustainable energy transition, and the political involvement of indigenous peoples. Her work has an intersectional and decolonial approach. She has worked directly for indigenous organizations at the PanAmazonian, national and subnational level in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. She is an Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Peru where she directs the MA in Water Resources Management, and board member of the International Association for the Studies of the Commons (IASC).

Coastal Elite, Montreal, 5 June 2017 - Wikimedia commons